Category Archives: politics

Dear GOP Senate: the first black POTUS still beat you. Twice.

Dear every GOP Senator who voted today to move forward on repealing the ACA,

Barack Obama still beat you.

Twice.

That’s right. The guy with the funny name and the big ears and the brown, brown skin.

He beat you. He beat you good.

You know who I’m talking about, right? That guy. The one with the beautiful, blacker-even-than-he-was (gasp!) wife who committed the great sin of trying to get people to take a stroll and eat the occasional vegetable. You recall him, I believe? Unlike Kislyak, he’s easy to remember. You know: the tall, handsome one, with the cute kids and the broad smile and the extensive vocabulary?

The one with the Ivy League degrees earned without the help of family money or a legacy name?

The one who won more votes for president than any other person in American history?

The one with the truly impressive inauguration crowd photos?

Yeah, that guy: Barack Hussein Obama. Oh, you sure adored emphasizing that middle name of his! It was your little wink-wink, nudge-nudge, on Fox News or CNN (pre “Fake News!”). You enjoyed needling him with the name he was proud of, the name his father gave him. That gave you a little thrill, didn’t it?

He still beat you.

Twice.

Let’s be real – you stopped giving a shit about not-rich and not-Russian people years ago, but you’d be far less anxious to repeal a now-popular-with-your-constituents, landmark healthcare bill that saves thousands of lives a year if it had been signed by a Democrat with appropriately lily-white hands.

But you still can’t get over it that this brown nobody, who wasn’t groomed for Capitol Hill (or at least the Alabama State House) from birth, whose parents’ interracial marriage used to be illegal in many US states, beat you.

Twice.

And people loved him. Love him, still. They cheer him wherever he goes, with his crisp shirt unbuttoned at the neck, revealing his well-earned vacation tan. Still in his fit fifties, he has years of accolades and humanitarian work ahead of him, while you all have one foot in the grave and the other tied up in the twisted old Confederate flag Bree Newsome tossed defiantly into the sun-baked dirt.

He was, and is, better than you. He changed history, regardless of what you do to his bill now. He changed the conversation. He raised expectations. He made us better, while you drag us down and try, with hand over heart and a word or two about God uttered with a glance up at the dome, to kill the meekest among us.

He was not, and is not, perfect. God, far from it. But he is, above all, a decent man: no sleaze, no scandal, not one opening for you to jab in the knife of, “Him?! An example for our kids?” 

Because he is an example, for all kids. Regardless of color or creed or gender or age.

That’s the future, you know. We’re starting to live in it. A world where your grandson may come home from sports practices one day and tell you he wants to grow up to be as good an athlete as Serena, or where your millennial niece may tell you she decided to become an activist because of John Lewis. A world where your son’s decision to join the armed forces is inspired not by John McCain’s sacrifice, but by Tammy Duckworth’s.

You lost the future years ago. You’re losing it every day. As narrow-minded and cruel as you are, you must be scared. It’s scary when everything you’ve ever known to be true about your own innate superiority is shown to be a lie. I’d almost feel sorry for you, if it weren’t for the fact that you’re actively working to harm or kill anyone who looks or thinks or loves or worships differently from you.

I’m sure many of you will go to sleep tonight contented with the days’ work, grateful that your esteemed colleague’s newfound terminal cancer diagnosis hasn’t deterred him from his goal of taking healthcare away from millions of his fellow human beings. But as unconsciousness overtakes you in your soft beds in your D.C. townhouses, I hope one final recollection rises to the surface and echoes softly in the back of your minds:

Barack Obama, the first black president, is better than you. And he still beat you.

Twice.

Sweet dreams.

ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr f*** everything: venting and then doing some real s***

This post is gonna be bad and sort of stream-of-consciousness venting but it ends okay so hang in there!

Here it is:

Ugh forever. Fuck everything.

I was fired up on Wednesday but now ughhhhhhh.

Look, there have been a gazillion pieces on how even if someone voted for Trump for “non-racist” reasons, they still voted for racism. If you don’t buy it after folks like Scalzi break it all down for you in the easiest-to-understand terms, you’re not going to buy it from me, so I’m not going to write another one here.

There have also been a gazillion pieces written on the Electoral College (google it). I fucking hate the Electoral College, since it basically means my California vote is worth less than, say, a Wyoming vote because something something rural Real America(TM) slave state history blah blah blah. So I’m not gonna write one here, either.

Don’t even get me started on the gazillion pieces about how the left needs to understand Trump voters more because blah blah blah. I get it; many of them are losing traditional jobs that aren’t coming back because #robots and they’re mad, but many of them are also assholes who hate that they had to see a black dude on TV for 8 years and sure as fuck weren’t gonna look at an old lady for that long even if she’s white. You can guess where I come down on that argument so I’m not gonna write my own take here either.

So here’s what I have to say: ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything. The next four years are going to be apocalyptic. I’m especially excited for the inevitable Pence presidency, because, let’s get real, our Cheeto-Elect is not gonna last more than a year, tops. He’s never had to do any actual work in his life, and he’s just now realizing that the Presidency involves reading and sitting still and receiving criticism and not staying in Trump Tower among his gold-plated accessories unless he ventures out to grab him some fresh pussy. He’s going to resign, and if not he will be impeached, because the GOP would vastly prefer working with Pence (ugh) and, let’s face it, Mr. Cheeto has already committed about a zillion impeachable offenses and will accumulate more in his first five days in office than Nixon managed in five years. Pence hates gay people and women especially and is going to do his fucking utmost to take away our rights, so that’s gonna be GREAT.

And then there’s the worst part: the violence and harassment against minorities. This violence has existed for centuries, duh, but now it’s been validated in the mainstream by the dude who’s gonna be president. People are fucking scared. Hundreds of incidents a day have been reported since Nov. 8: women randomly getting grabbed walking down the street, Muslim women having their hijabs ripped off, black people called n****** who should “go back to Africa” (because it’s not like our white ancestors dragged their black ancestors from Africa against their will in chains, but okay, sure), anyone who looks vaguely Hispanic threatened with deportation (not that anyone should be threatened with deportation, but I’m almost tickled by racists who can’t tell the difference between someone of Asian descent or Mexican descent).

Also the environment is over and maybe there will be a nuclear war and Marie Le Pen will be elected and I can’t shop at Macy’s anymore and I’m a privileged-yet-depressed white bitch and I hate myself.

Ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything.

Ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything.

Ughhhhhhhh foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr fuck everything. Also something about safety pins?

Okay. Thanks for listening. Now let’s do some shit.

Planned Parenthood Donation Link

ACLU Donation Link

Southern Poverty Law Center Donation Link

I told you the post would end okay!!

 

 

 

It’s our turn to fight

I haven’t written in a long time because I was job-hunting. I have a new job now. So yeah, I’m back.

And this is my election post for the day (also found on FB).

Last night I was despondent. For a few moments, my depression reared its head in the ugliest way. I barely slept.

This morning, I realized a few things:

I am white
I am well-educated
I have an amazing job with amazing benefits
I have an amazing support system
I am cis-het
I live in California

Barring a national overturning of Roe v. Wade or an uptick in assault on women in general nationwide, my rights and I are ok for the foreseeable future. Which is why it is now my job to fight for others.

For people of color, ESPECIALLY women of color
For those who don’t have the chance to go to college
For the unemployed, under-employed, and disabled
For the uninsured or those soon to be uninsured
For the poor
For the LGBT community
For people in places like Flint (STILL NO CLEAN WATER Y’ALL) and Ferguson and Standing Rock.

If you are like me and you enjoy many tremendous privileges, it is also your time to fight.

In municipal politics
In state politics
In national politics
In our communities
In our homes

I’m scared tbh. But I know I’m not nearly as scared as those in the marginalized groups above. So it’s on me. It’s on us (that mostly means you, white people).

I start by setting up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood, which will be crucial to the well-being of women and girls and even men in the coming months and years if the ACA goes down. And then I research my next steps.

To 2018 and beyond.

Much love.

Reminder: You Are an Actual Person

It’s been a hell of a week. I don’t need to link to any of what’s been going on because, well, if you don’t already know you must be a mermaid living in King Triton’s undersea realm who is too busy trying to trade your voice to a sea witch in order to marry a random human prince to pay attention to Land News(TM), in which case, good luck with that.

If you identify as a woman, you are probably having a lot of feelings right now. Anger. Sadness. Fear. Defiance. High Priestess Michelle Obama–First of her name, Mother of Dragons and Malia and Sasha,Harvester of Organic Vegetables–summed it all up pretty well, I think.

If you identify as a woman this week, you’re probably also experiencing flashbacks. Flashbacks to the time your classmate reached down your shirt and groped at your (still flat) chest during story time when you were six and said this meant you were his girlfriend. To the time when your middle school teacher looked a little too long at your bare, white, unshaven thirteen-year-old legs on the first warm May day in seventh grade and remarked that he was “grateful it was shorts season.” To the time when your roommate came home crying because a boy tried to pressure her into sex before she was ready and called her a tease for refusing. To the time your heart was pounding in your chest as you walked down the dark New York street at nine p.m., worried that the strange man on the corner, angry at having his catcalls ignored, would follow through on his threats to “fucking rape and kill you, you ugly fat bitch.”

To all the times you were made to feel like nothing more than a receptacle for men’s feelings, from lust to disgust to rage to impulses of violence. To all the times you were reduced to body parts: boobs and butts and legs and hair and midriffs and arms and feet (yes, even feet). To all the times on the sidewalk you were told, unprompted, to smile.

To all the times you were made to feel like less than human. Like less than a person.

One definition of feminism is “the radical notion that women are people.”

A reminder for you, because I’ve needed to remind myself so often this week: you are an actual person. A human being. A soul. You are more than the meat on your bones. More than a number on a scale of attractiveness or weight or both. More than a reflection of what some men (and women) hate about themselves and the state of a scary and changing world.

I am an actual person. You are an actual person, too.

I love you.

Good night.

Ten Faces Paul Ryan Makes When He Remembers He Publicly Supports Donald Trump

Here are ten faces Paul Ryan* makes (to himself for now, but I’m sure increasingly to others as the election continues, especially if Trump continues to publicly accept congratulations on being “right” when 50 people are murdered in a gay club by an asshole) when he is just going about his day and then suddenly remembers that he has publicly endorsed Donald Trump for President and has committed himself to voting for him in November.

*Also applies to Mitch McConnell.

10. tobias blue giv

9.jim halpert no

8. picard facepalm gif

7. i don't feel so good gif.gif

6. lucille aaah.gif

5. dr. who.gif

4. sad wine gif.gif

3. shame gif.gif

2. horrified clueless.gif

And, of course…

1. made a huge mistake.gif

Oh, Paul. I’d say I feel sorry for you, but you brought this on yourself. If it makes you feel any better, at least people forgot about this for a moment!

paul ryan workout

Ten things legislators in North Carolina & Georgia could do instead of passing anti-LGBT laws

If you are “woke,” or even just regular-old conscious, you’ve probably heard about the latest BS coming out of North Carolina: a law that is essentially state-sponsored bigotry in the guise of “concern” for women and children who might unknowingly pee in a public restroom stall adjacent to an individual whose genitalia do not match their own, which would lead to…death, I guess? Apocalypse? It’s unclear, but sadly a similar law is being considered in Georgia, because apparently some state legislators just like to watch the world burn (and also to watch Disney and any other corporation or individual with a conscience spend their money elsewhere).

Three thousand think pieces have already been written about the law, and other than the obvious bigotry and ignorance behind it, people are also outraged because SERIOUSLY THIS IS HOW GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING CITIZENS’ TAX MONEY? To that end, I humbly submit the following ten ideas for what legislators in NC and Georgia could do with their time other than pass harmful and hateful laws to discriminate against some of their most vulnerable constituents:

10. Clean a public bathroom: Honestly, the biggest danger of public restrooms is how FUCKING DIRTY THEY ARE. Who gives a shit what’s between the legs of the person in the stall next to you if you have to put on a hazmat suit just to pee without fear at your local mall after drinking an extra-large Jamba Juice while browsing the clearance rack at Nordstrom Rack? If you really care about the experience people have in public restrooms in your state, get some rubber gloves, some Lysol, a toothbrush, and have at it. EVERYONE, gay, straight, black, white, transgender, cis will thank you, and as politicians you should have plenty of experience cleaning up shit (especially of your own making)!

9. Legislate against people who pee on the toilet seat: Related to point #10–you want to talk about a THREAT TO HARD-WORKING AMERICANS? How about those monsters who pee on the toilet seat and then don’t wipe it off? Where’s the fine against those assholes?  I don’t care if the person washing their hands at the next sink is a man, woman, cis, trans, genderqueer, or Martian, as long as they WIPE OFF THE SEAT AND FLUSH LIKE A GODDAMNED HUMAN BEING. You want to crack down on aberrant bathroom behaviors? I promise this is an issue all parties can get behind.

pee

8. Try to fix poverty: Allegedly, these legislators are worried about the welfare of women and girls, hence this law. If they ACTUALLY cared about women and girls (and men, and people of color, and humans), NC and GA legislators could spend some real time brainstorming and enacting legislation to pull more of their citizens out of poverty, which would be helpful, as NC is #31 on the national poverty ranking, and GA is (gulp) #43. At the very least, they could refrain from passing measures, like North Carolina did with this VERY BILL, that make it illegal for municipalities to raise their minimum wage on their own, which could, ya know, TAKE PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY and therefore HELP FAMILIES. From NPR:

The bill would bar cities or counties from imposing their own minimum wage. So any move to establish a local minimum wage higher than the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage would be a nonstarter. This has been done by other cities such as Seattle, which is phasing in a $15 an hour minimum wage.

Yeah, I’m totally sure this bill was ALL about helping people, uh-huh, sure, okay!

7. Catch up on Daredevil: Don’t get me wrong-Season 1 was WAAAAY better than Season 2, but Charlie Cox has still got it, Foggy is my hero, and I’ll watch Deborah Ann Woll in anything. The point is, NC & GA legislators, take a break from the misplaced fear of things you don’t understand and enjoy some good, old-fashioned Marvel superhero death and gore–your constituents will thank you for it, especially if you miss work after a night of binge-watching and therefore are unable to pass further bullshit laws!

6. Pet a dog: At the end of the day, these legislators seem REALLY worried that some dude with a beard named Eric who was given the name Erica at birth and used to wear a pink onesie before he figured out who he really is might be taking a dump in the next stall while they’re shopping at Target. Being that upset out about such a non-event leads me to believe that they are suffering from some major stress, and according to Science, petting a dog can lower your blood pressure, calm you down, and make you a happier, healthier person! You can’t pet my dog, though–she’s allergic to bullying bigots, sorry!

wp-1458862884540.jpg
Oh, did a bigot want to pet me? Sorry, I’m scheduled to lie in this chair all day and dream about treats.

5. Actually talk to a transgender person: Though they have every reason to hate the world, many transgender and gender non-conforming people are REALLY nice and open and would be happy to converse with legislators in NC, GA or any other state about their lives! Instead of relying on outdated biases to form opinions on trans people, legislators could have a beer, coke, or raw vegan smoothie with a transgender person and perhaps realize that they are, in fact, just PEOPLE–albeit often disadvantaged and depressed people, due to the discrimination they face.

4. Watch a Fixer Upper Marathon on HGTV: Everyone, homophobic misguided legislator or no, will benefit from watching Chip and Joanna redo crumbling homes in Waco for, like, three dollars. This should be required viewing for every American. JUST LOOK AT THEM.

chip and jo
LOOK AT THESE PERFECT HUMANS ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

3. Build a time machine to extricate themselves from the distant past: Look, these legislators are so out of it that they must be literally stuck in the past, so they obviously need to pool their resources, fix up an old Delorean, invent a flux capacitor, get back to the stones at Craigh na Dun, call up HG Wells, and come meet the rest of us here in the present.

2-back-to-the-future-marty-doc-delorean-large_trans++wMpl-Jpdv5EMZZkofEupHLdu0TL-Cg_AMOUqySXmFgU
Well see you in 2016 whenever you’re ready to join us, GA and NC GOP!
Outlander 2014
Disclaimer: I cannot promise that your time travel experience will result in meeting a smokin’ Scotsman.

2. Watch “Formation” and freak out again: Remember a few weeks back when Beyonce was the main thing ultra-conservatives were losing their minds over? Can we go back to that? Hey, legislators, watch the video again, and get REAL angry and forget to do the rest of your jobs! Look at her, all…dance-y…and…woman-y…and…black. And remember when she RUINED THE SUPER BOWL TOO AND MADE YOU LOOK UP FROM YOUR NACHOS? Remember how mad you were? Yeah! YOU KNOW YOU HATE HER, GOP DUDES, LET THE HATE FLOW THROUGH YOU!

beyonce
Just watch the vid again…and again…and again…no need to go to work, or pass any laws, or do anything but have a rage stroke. Shhh. It’s okay. Keep watching…

1. Quit: Let’s get real, GOP lawmakers in GA and NC–you are dinosaurs. Your views are outdated and wrong; your priorities do not match those of reasonable people who are able to empathize with others who do not look, sound, or act exactly like themselves. Your greatest claim to fame will be when you are portrayed by an aged DiCaprio or Redmayne in thirty years as the villains in an Oscar bait movie. So why not quit while you’re ahead in the bigotry game?  Just go! Resign and withdraw to your gated communities and private manors, where you can take comfort in knowing that the only person using your marble-tiled bathroom will be you.

Hey, anyone know how I can get any of these suggestions put into law? 😉

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post, please drop a comment below! Peace!

 

 

 

The millennial’s guide for how to vote for the “right” candidate in the primaries

Libya_Clinton_Visit_041dbbernie

Primary season is upon us! If you’re lucky and not being voter suppressed and are able to get away from work/childcare/other life duties and actually vote in your state’s upcoming primary or caucus, you have an important decision to make: who will you support for your party’s nomination for President? I know it can be daunting, especially for millennials who don’t have decades of experience in becoming apathetic and exhausted by our disastrous political system voting. Fear not, fellow twenty-and thirty-somethings! I have put together the following guide to help you exercise your most cherished democratic right and duty.

Step 1: Ensure you can properly name and stereotype each candidate. For Democrats, this is easy! You only have Crazy Socialist Old Jewish Dude and Feminazi Wall Street Lover Vagina-haver to choose from (Mr. Pleasant-faced Generic White Guy already peaced out; RIP Pleasant-faced Generic White Guy!). For Republicans, you’ve got Crazy Billionaire Who Wants to Bang His Daughter, the Guy Who Doesn’t Know How Hoodies Work, the Sleepy Surgeon, the…oh, who am I kidding. If you’re a millennial you’re probably not voting Republican. If you are, I wish you well–may the powers that be help you in choosing a candidate from among these clowns!

Step 2: Do your research. Remember, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, so you have to dig deep to make sure you’re getting the real scoop on what issues each candidate will prioritize once in office. Examine their voting records in Congress, read their books and writings (going back to college and graduate school, if possible), watch their public addresses and speeches on YouTube, read the endorsements of various newspapers and organizations…

Step 3: …Shit. That’s A LOT more work than you thought. Both of these assholes have, like, decades of service under their belts, and they’ve both done good and bad things during that time! I mean, obviously income inequality is a big issue, but so is gun control…I guess they both support reproductive rights, but Hillary got Planned Parenthood’s endorsement, but Killer Mike likes Bernie, and…wow, this was a lot easier four years ago when there just wasn’t a democratic primary and you hated Romney a lot.

Step 4: Don’t panic and read Facebook. Luckily for you, most of your Facebook friends are politically-minded! They’re sharing really interesting pieces from writers big and small on your feed, from all perspectives: the LGBTQ community, feminists, activists of color, political giants, foreign policy specialists, small business owners, you name it. Dive in, and prepare yourself to be informed up the WAZOO! Your choice will be easy as pie once you take in this information.

Step 5: Wow there is some SERIOUS shit going down here on Facebook. Huh. You’ve only clicked on one article your friend from college posted and people are having some REAL STRONG REACTIONS in the comments. Someone just called someone else a bitch, and that girl just said that other guy is a “berniebro,” and now everyone is talking about false narratives and apparently if you vote for Hillary it’s only because you have a vagina, but if you vote for Bernie you are betraying your vagina, and maybe our political system is now dependent on the votes of our genitalia? How would voting genitalia even work? It seems like voting machines would have to be majorly redesigned…

Step 6: Something something Supreme Court nomination. Holy shit, Scalia died! Wait, Mitch McConnell says Obama can’t nominate a successor? What is this shit? Also people are saying OBAMA should be the next justice, but like he is already President…oh, after he’s done being Prez, you mean, and either Hillary or Bernie could nominate him…but doesn’t Obama deserve a vacation from this crazy country after the past 8 years? Oh God, Scalia is dead, after all! Am I being disrespectful of the dead? This think piece says I am, but this other one says I’m not, and this one says the election is now turned on its head, and this one says the Zika virus is turning the world into Children of Men, and THIS ONE says that Bernie is actually an alien, and THIS ONE says Hillary is an Ewok, and THIS ONE says #OscarsSoWhite, and THIS ONE says…

Step 7: Descend into madness. HOW DID BOTH OF THESE CANDIDATES BECOME EVIL ALL OF A SUDDEN? WHAT THE FUCK? WAIT WAIT WAIT A COUPLE YEARS BACK EVERYONE WAS SHARING BADASS MEMES OF HILLARY ON A PLANE TEXTING BUT NOW SHE HATES BLACK PEOPLE AND LOVES BANKS? AND BERNIE IS LOVABLY GRUFF AND HATES CAPITALISM BUT DIDN’T LISTEN TO VERMONT’S BLACK LEADERS AND ALSO MAYBE LIKES GUNS? HILLARY LOVES HEALTHCARE BUT MAYBE HATES BEYONCE? WAIT, DOES BERNIE HATE BEYONCE, TOO? CAN WHITE PEOPLE LIKE BEYONCE? DO I EVEN LIKE BEYONCE? SHOULD I JUST VOTE FOR BEYONCE? AM I ALLOWED TO LIKE “FORMATION?” WHAT ABOUT KANYE, IS HE CRAZY OR WHAT?

Step 8: Cry. sobsobsobsobsobsobsobsob can’t we just have Obama for a third term?

Step 9: Have a stiff drink. God damn it, get yourself together and make a God-damned decision! YOU ARE AN ADULT YOU CAN MAKE THIS ONE CHOICE.  

Step 10: Call your most bigoted, sexist, “The Civil War was really the War of Northern Agression” relation and ask them which candidate they hate the most. Vote for that one. 

BOOM! DEMOCRACY, I OWN YOU! YOU ARE MY BITCH! HUZZAH!

You’re welcome, millennials!

 

 

 

Paris, je t’aime

 

Sappiness Warning: this post is sappy but I am sappy so yeah.

Last week was pretty terrible.  On top of ISIS The First Evil’s attacks in Beirut and Iraq, earthquakes in Japan, the continuing Syrian refugee crisis, general racism, and a million other awful shitty things I am no doubt forgetting, there was Paris.

Paris is one of my favorite places in the world.  I returned there for the first time since college this past August, when I was overjoyed to introduce one of my best friends to the city where I first discovered the joy of cheese for dessert (and lunch, and a snack, and breakfast).  Paris is the subject of more than half of the “artwork” pieces “decorating” my lame apartment.  It’s where I spent more evenings than I care to admit drinking two euro wine next to a dirty canal while various Frenchmen asked me if I was Mexican(?).  It’s where I fell sleep on the bus after a night of clubbing and ended up stranded in the suburbs at 3 am in a skimpy dress and heels higher than any I’ve worn since the age of twenty.  It’s where I got the news that a friend had died in an accident and cried my eyes out in a café at the thought missing her funeral while the usually stuffy waitstaff looked on sympathetically.  It’s where I learned to be an adult.  It’s where I first understood that I am a citizen of both the United States and the world. Seeing Paris under siege for hours on TV Friday night left me paralyzed for a good 24 hours.

None of this is different from what anyone else who loves Paris (or Beirut, or New York, or any other place ravaged by terrorism) has said or written before, but I just had to get it out, here and, as it turns out, on paper.  A new piece of (extremely lame) “artwork” now adorns the walls of my (extremely lame) apartment, in honor of the city that helped me grow up.  Paris, je t’aime.  Mon coeur est à toi pour toujours.

wpid-wp-1447714706814.jpg

 

Politics of Petty Negativity: Oh, Jeb(!) Edition

So on Facebook this morning I posted a rant about Jeb(!) Bush(!)’s latest gaffe, in which he said, in a Town Hall on Saturday in South Carolina:

“Universities ought to have skin in the game,” the former Florida governor said at a South Carolina town hall with Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy. “When a student shows up, they ought to say ‘Hey, that psych major deal, that philosophy major thing, that’s great, it’s important to have liberal arts … but realize, you’re going to be working a Chick-fil-A.'”

“The number one degree program for students in this country … is psychology,” Bush said. “I don’t think we should dictate majors. But I just don’t think people are getting jobs as psych majors. We have huge shortages of electricians, welders, plumbers, information technologists, teachers.”

There is so much to unpack here, it’s insane.

Understandably, a LOT of people were upset about this bullshit he spouted, myself included.  My initial anger was due to the insult aimed at psychology majors in particular.  I feel very strongly about this, because:

A.) I know many psych majors who have gone on to land important, wonderful, and even high-paying(!) jobs, from medicine, to HR, to clinical psychology and research, to labor work, to writing…the list goes on.  To imply that psych majors have no career options is just wrong and shows that he doesn’t know what the ever-loving fuck he’s talking about.

B.) Dismissing psychology as a valid field of study is dangerous.  People who struggle with mental illness have to overcome enough stigma and red tape to seek psychological assistance (therapy, etc.) as it is, and for a major political figure to imply that this is an unimportant area of study doesn’t help matters.

C.) On a personal note, psychology saved my life.  My therapist (who, yeah, has a job!  It’s therapy! He gets paid and everything!), one of those lowly psych majors, helped me out of a major depression and suicidal episode earlier this year and continues to help me.  His is an essential profession, so to hear a major candidate say something that might dissuade others with an interest from pursuing it…well, it rubs me the wrong way.

As I re-read Jeb(!)’s comments in a later moment of relative calmness, however, I was struck by something – I agree with one of the statements he made!  I KNOW, RIGHT?  I’m all #FEELTHEBERN and #HILLARYROCKS and #OMALLEY…EXISTS but I agreed with a statement Jeb(!) Bush, of the Bushy McBushes, made.  Here it is:

“We have huge shortages of electricians, welders, plumbers, information technologists, teachers.” (implying, of course, that students should pursue these fields)

Jeb(!) is right!  There are millions of jobs opening up in the trades!  These jobs can be well-paying and are essential to the American economy and our everyday lives!  People should consider these jobs!

We also have a teacher shortage!  Teachers play an essential role in American life and the economy!  More people should be teachers!

SO WHY NOT JUST SAY THAT?*  THAT IS A GOOD THING!  JUST SAY THAT!  COME ON!

GOB COME ON

Why, Jeb(!) do you have to insult psychology majors (and, for that matter, philosophy and other liberal arts majors) to make that point?

Why, Jeb(!), do you have to insult the dignity of food service workers (he makes working at Chick-Fil-A sound like the worst possible fate a human being could have**) to make that point?

If you are trying to encourage young people to follow certain career paths, Jeb(!), why not just extoll the benefits of those paths instead of insulting others?  Why engage in negativity when positivity will get the same point across?

The answer to this for Jeb(!) personally is, I’m sure, complicated, and, ironically, would necessitate an in-depth examination of his psyche and how his upbringing in a rich, entitled family which has already produced two US Presidents affects his worldview.  But in general, I believe that Jeb(!) and other politicians engage in negativity politics because they believe it wins elections, and it’s become their default setting, even when trying to make a simple point encouraging young people to study the trades at a town hall.  Get that insult in, these politician’s aides constantly say to them in greenrooms and hotel suites and on tour buses, and people will start paying attention!  That’s what will get you the votes!

The good news for normal people is this hasn’t held true for the last two US presidential elections.  Say what you will about Obama, but he didn’t win in ’08 by denigrating college students and women and fast food workers – he won because his primary message was one of hope (again, whether or not you agree he has delivered on that is an entirely different post).  And in 2012, Romney guaranteed his loss the minute he called 47% of the country moochers.  The lesson? LOOKING DOWN ON REGULAR PEOPLE DOES NOT WIN NATIONAL ELECTIONS ANYMORE, GUYS!  WE HAVE TWITTER NOW!  WE WATCH JOHN OLIVER! WE WILL KNOW IF YOU SAY MEXICANS ARE RAPISTS, AND EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE LOTS OF RACISTS IN THE US THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH OF THEM TO KEEP YOU AT THE TOP OF THE POLLS!

I would love to see a day when politics (on both sides of the aisle, the GOP is not alone in this) leaves petty negativity entirely behind.  We’re not there yet, and who knows if we ever will be, but I do know that, after some blinding rage this morning, I’m feeling a little more mellow and sympathetic towards Jeb(!), who just doesn’t get that his politics of negativity is only going to bite him in the ass!  He’s so oblivious, it’s almost sad.

If only he’d taken a psychology course, you know? 😉

*To be fair, the reason he won’t say that is because he actually has no actual interest in helping anyone get any job through educational assistance and training in the trades or any other field.  He’s not been super great for education or teachers.  He mostly doesn’t care.

**Of course, no one, including Jeb(!), would feel like they could insult food service workers if they were paid a living minimum wage, but Jeb(!) would prefer to eliminate the federal minimum wage altogether, so…yeah.